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Liberal Dems poised to win Japan election

Published By United Press International
TOKYO, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Final polls in Japan suggest Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democrat Party are the favorites in Sunday's general elections, analysts say.

Japan's an election is likely to give the country its seventh prime minister in six years, and probably give Abe a second term in the office.

Abe was ousted as prime minister in 2007 after just a year in office and his party lost power three years ago when voters opted for the Democratic Party of Japan.

Until then, the Liberal Democrats had held on to power for about five decades.

"Because the Liberal Democrats have been in power traditionally for quite a long time they're seen as more a competent governing party," John Lee, an adjunct associate professor at the Center for International Security Studies at Sydney University, told CNN.

The BBC said incumbent Yoshihiko Noda and the DPJ saw their popularity plummet in the past three years, largely due to the struggling economy and the stunning blow caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa